It was one of those days you dream about as a trail runner. Big, blue skies and trails unwinding under your feet as you breathe the cool, fresh mountain air. My legs felt great and cardio was right on track as I was maintaining a steady clip up some of the trails.
The perfect day running…or so it seemed.
Suddenly without warning the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got this strange tingling sensation as every fiber of my body seemed to ring out with a klaxon alarm “WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!”
As I scanned the trees around me, turning in a broad circle I tried to figure out what I sensed.
Bear or Mountain Lion
“Too early for bear.” I murmured out loud. “Mountain lion maybe?” I didn’t think there had been any seen in this part of the mountains before but who knows, maybe they move around or something?
My seemingly perfect day running was interrupted by whatever was following behind me or at least that is what it seemed like.
I ran back on the trail a little way, no more than a quarter mile, hoping maybe I could see if there were tracks in the soft dirt but saw nothing. I decided to run a little bit further and then descend from the mountains through a different canyon trail so I wouldn’t have to do the out and back thing.
Still sensing something though I didn’t run quite as free. There was trepidation in my steps. Instead of enjoying the beauty around me, I was reserved and carried a little fear. Every sound made me stop and look back the way I had come hoping to see whatever I sensed following.
Enough is Enough
After a couple of miles I finally decided enough is enough and I stopped dead in the trail and shouted at the top of my lungs, “Look I don’t know who or what you are but answer me right now and tell me why you’re following me!” I mean I was so pissed off that whatever was following me was ruining my perfect day on the trail.
Suddenly I heard this low, low voice. You know, the kind in horror movies right before the actor is about to get ax murdered or something. Low, low voice with just enough spookiness in it to get your attention.
The voice said, “My name is FEAR! And I am with you always and you can’t get rid of me no matter how far or long you run.”
In my head, I’m thinking, “I don’t even do drugs but this has got to be some type of hallucination or something. Maybe my protein gel had something weird in it.”
Then I remembered something that always seems to escape my memory every now and then. I remembered whose son I am and began to speak to the spooky, low voice and let him know who my father is.
Speak to Fear
As I stood there on the trail I began to say, “Look dude my Dad did not give me a spirit of fear. He put inside of me a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline.”
With more force, I told the spooky, low voice, “Dude you can follow me all you want, to the ends of the earth, the end of this run, the ride back home and every time I’m in the forest. But here is the fact of the matter. I have a peace which reassures my heart and which transcends all understanding. This peace stands guard over my heart and my mind.”
Finally, with a force I didn’t really know that I possessed I shouted at the top of my lungs for all the world to hear, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in my Father. My Father tells me that there is no fear in love but that perfect love drives out fear. Fear cannot rule over my heart because I am being perfected in love.”
As I spoke these things it was like the sky turned from cloudy to the big blue sky again. The sun shone down with a brilliance that I had never experienced before and I was enveloped in a confidence and peace that I know can only come from one source.
Living An Ultra Life
I live an ultra life, running mountain trails but I am human just like everybody else. I experience fear just like everybody else. I have just chosen not to allow fear to have reign over my life. I have chosen to believe that I am accepted, forgiven and loved immensely by the One who created all love. Therefore I will not stumble nor fall when fear wants to knock me over.
My dream in life as I run long distances is to create a movement of people who live an ultra life, a full life, believing that there is more to life than just going to work on a daily basis, accepting the amount somebody else decides to pay you and going home every night to watch whatever is popular on TV today. I have chosen an ultra life because I want those around me and those who read my words to have a new hope and a refreshing moment where they begin to realize just what an awesome life is available to them if they would just believe and trust in the One who can set us all free.
Come live an ultra life with me as I run from mountain trail to mountain trail challenging the mountain but most of all challenging myself to truly live.